Preheat oven to 350°. Place a medium-sized glass bowl in the freezer for beating the egg whites later. Grease and lightly flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with waxed paper. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the COCOA, oil and water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the VANILLA and cooled cocoa mixture. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture alternately with milk mixture to the chocolate batter, beating after each addition until smooth. With clean beaters and the chilled bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the batter, using a flexible spatula and an over/under stirring method until mostly combined. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans carefully and cool thoroughly on racks. Frost the top of each cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting; stack the layers. Pour the rest of the icing over the top so it runs down the sides. Serve while frosting is warm.
Frosting: (Note from LeAnn: We love the frosting so much that we double this frosting recipe!)
In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in VANILLA, coconut and pecans. Frost cake. Store leftover cake in the fridge.
Prep. time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Nutritional Information for cake with single frosting recipe and pecans:
Servings 16; Serving Size 1 piece (145g); Calories 500; Calories from fat 270; Total fat 30g; Cholesterol 170mg; Sodium 330mg; Carbohydrate 56g; Dietary Fiber 4g.